Palmeiro mum

MIKE GANTER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:36 AM ET

BALTIMORE -- Rafael Palmeiro is back but the baseball world is no closer to getting his side of the scenario that landed him a 10-day suspension for violating major league baseball's drug policy.

Palmeiro returned from his suspension Thursday night and refused to answer any questions regarding his suspension on the advice of counsel. Previously he had hinted to reporters that he did not knowingly take the steroid in question.

He limited his comments Thursday to how happy he was to be back and how appreciative he was of the support of his teammates.

He added that he hoped to be able to clear things up for the public with his side of things in the near future, but with the U.S. Congress looking at the possibility of a perjury charge, that won't be coming any time soon if at all.

Teammates, for the most part greeted him with open arms, but two unidentified Orioles told the Baltimore Sun they were withholding support until Palmeiro explained how the steroid stanozolol, the steroid that tests allegedly found in his system and the same one Ben Johnson tested positive for way back in 1988, wound up there.

Fan reaction appeared to be split although Palmeiro did not play in Thursday night's game nor is he expected to start for at least a couple more days.

Interim manager Sam Perlozzo said Palmeiro did not work out during his 10-day suspension that he spent at home in Arlington, Texas and he wants to see more on the field from him before he puts him in the lineup.

Jays manager John Gibbons said it would be a mistake on his part to underestimate Palmeiro in this series.

"He's such a good hitter," Gibbons said. "I can remember back in spring training with the Rangers in 1989, I was catching live batting practice and he was hitting. Most guys, hitting live BP for the first time (struggle). He got in there and was hitting balls like there was nothing to it. From that time since, it's the most natural, easy stroke I have ever seen. He's going to hit whether he has been playing or not."

Not all the response Palmeiro received his first day back was positive.

Directly behind the Orioles dugout were four young men wearing T-shirts with Palmeiro's name and number on the back and a picture of a syringe on the front under the words "Hall of Shame."

All four were lifelong Orioles fans.


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